We are back in Colorado where it is snowing. I am wishing with all my heart that we were back in Vancouver, where the weather was nearly as hospitable as the people and the glow of the games continues without benefit of our spark.
I also decided that looking back at Vancouver would not be a simple thing, so I have decided to break this down into a personal road map of experiences, photos and emotions. Over the next few days (or early mornings, if I stay true to form) I'll guide you through my feelings about Vancouver, the people, the athletes, the sponsors - the sights and sounds that brought me to my computer to create my own version of a Trip Tic. In the crush of the crowds; in the endless queues to nowhere in particular, I came to a great realization about my own road to Vancouver: It was not what I expected, but more than I ever dreamed it to be.
PROLOGUEThe Big Picture of The Road Less Traveled..
Going to the Olympics as a parent of an athlete is a road that is fraught with twists, turns, occasional dead ends and many warning signs. It is not for the faint of heart. Somewhere I read that one in one plus million ever become Olympic athletes. I am not a math wizard, but I suspect the same statistic would hold true for families, as well.
This is not a road that you choose, by the way. As a parent, you are not in the driver's seat, no matter how much you would like to think you are.
If you have ever had the sheer joy of teaching your child to drive a car, you will understand what I mean. You can explain the basics, make the investment, sit beside them, turn on the key and then guide them through the starts, stops, backing up and navigating traffic. What you can't do is do it for them. So, you find a road less traveled and let them test their skills. If they are good enough; if they work hard enough and fine tune their abilities, they take you down that road - and you wind up at your destination. It wasn't you that got them there. It was them. You were just their GPS. Sometimes you guided them in the right direction; sometimes you both took a wrong turn. However, you all arrived and grew in the experience. Looking back, that's all that really mattered in the first place.